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Four things to know when targeting Indian smartphone consumers with video ads


One of India's very popular video streaming apps Hotstar recently announced its premium service that shows popular US TV shows minutes after their U.S airing. Netflix recently made it its India foray and local video and movie content providers such as Eros have released their own apps or announced partnerships that enable consumers to watch videos on their smartphones.

If all this does not signal the dominance of mobile as the first choice for video content consumption, what does? In fact, it is the rapidly growing consumption of video on smartphones that promises a lot of potential for marketers looking to engage their consumers on smartphones through mobile marketing. So if you're a marketer and you've made up your mind to go the video way to engage your consumer here's a few things that you must know first:

1. Nearly half of all smartphone users use their devices as a second screen while watching TV

It is not uncommon to find people browsing, catching up on social media, chatting or searching for a product they just saw on TV while watching television. Since smartphones make for a personal viewing experience, a smartphone screen is likely to grab more attention from the user than a television, which is mostly preferred for group viewing and comes with a lot of ambient distractions. Therefore, video consumption on smartphones promises to deliver greater recall and engagement with video ads for marketers.

Vserv Insights_Indian smartphone users Video Ads

2. Smartphones are most preferred for consumption of short format (less than 10-minute) video content

According to Vuclip's Global Video Insights report, 85% of viewers in India consume short-format video content (run time less than 10 minutes) on smartphones as opposed 71% on laptops. User generated content is also consumed more on smartphones (28%) than on laptops (20%). This means that Indian consumers prefer watching user-generated content and shorter format videos on smartphones today, as these devices make for a more personalized video viewing experience as opposed to desktops/laptops which are preferred more for group viewing. Therefore, marketers should focus on short 10-second video ads over longer 20 to 30-second ones.

3. Indians prefer to stream videos over Wi-Fi

The propensity to stream videos is much higher in developed nations as compared to developing nations such as India owing to better network connectivity. In India, laptops are used both to stream (3
and download (70%) while smartphones are largely preferred for
streaming (65%) only on account of limited storage space. Streaming over a Wi-Fi connection is, however, the most preferred on account of a better viewing experience.

However, unlike developed markets where usage of Wi-Fi and mobile networks for accessing mobile internet is proportionate (51% and 49% respectively), mobile network usage is significantly higher (65%) in India. This can be attributed to lesser number of free Wi-Fi zones. This means that marketers pushing video ads should make use of network-based targeting capabilities offered by ad networks to target Wi-Fi users with video ads. They can also target smartphone consumers on the move, with video ads on apps that let them watch videos offline.

4. Humor is the preferred ad proposition

A universal favorite across developed and developing countries alike, 60% of viewers are said to have shown preference to watching videos of this genre. This means the next time you're chalking out a video ad campaign, an ad that packs in flavors of light-hearted humor, could take you a long way in establishing a positive brand image and brand connect amongst your consumers.

Video ads are a great way of engaging your consumers on smartphones since they enable you to pack in a lot more messaging in a very immersive and appealing format. When done right, video ads can deliver great returns for marketers and the above 4 best practices can help you steer in the right direction.

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